Articles | Volume 12, issue 6
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 1961–1968, 2012

Special issue: ICT-based hydrometeorology science and natural disaster societal...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 1961–1968, 2012

Research article 18 Jun 2012

Research article | 18 Jun 2012

ICT approaches to integrating institutional and non-institutional data services for better understanding of hydro-meteorological phenomena

T. Bedrina1, A. Parodi1, A. Quarati2, and A. Clematis2 T. Bedrina et al.
  • 1CIMA Research Foundation, Savona, Italy
  • 2Institute of Applied Mathematics and Information Technology – National Research Council, Genoa, Italy

Abstract. It is widely recognised that an effective exploitation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is an enabling factor to achieve major advancements in Hydro-Meteorological Research (HMR). Recently, a lot of attention has been devoted to the use of ICT in HMR activities, e.g. in order to facilitate data exchange and integration, to improve computational capabilities and consequently model resolution and quality. Nowadays, ICT technologies have demonstrated that it is possible to extend monitoring networks by integrating sensors and other sources of data managed by volunteer's communities. These networks are constituted by peers that span a wide portion of the territory in many countries. The peers are "location aware" in the sense that they provide information strictly related with their geospatial location. The coverage of these networks, in general, is not uniform and the location of peers may follow random distribution. The ICT features used to set up the network are lightweight and user friendly, thus, permitting the peers to join the network without the necessity of specialised ICT knowledge. In this perspective it is of increasing interest for HMR activities to elaborate of Personal Weather Station (PWS) networks, capable to provide almost real-time, location aware, weather data.

Moreover, different big players of the web arena are now providing world-wide backbones, suitable to present on detailed map location aware information, obtained by mashing up data from different sources. This is the case, for example, with Google Earth and Google Maps.

This paper presents the design of a mashup application aimed at aggregating, refining and visualizing near real-time hydro-meteorological datasets. In particular, we focused on the integration of instant precipitation depths, registered either by widespread semi-professional weather stations and official ones. This sort of information has high importance and usefulness in decision support systems and Civil Protection applications. As a significant case study, we analysed the rainfall data observed during the severe flash-flood event of 4 November 2011 over Liguria region, Italy. The joint use of official observation network with PWS networks and meteorological radar allowed for the making of evident finger-like convection structure.